Jonathan Pitre, 14, is just like any other teenage boy. He loves sports and dreams of being a professional hockey player. However, unlike most other people of his age, Pitre has to deal with a rare skin condition that means he is in constant pain.
But rather than being down in the dumps because of his condition, Pitre’s spirit and determination is inspirational, and his outlook is truly uplifting.
Pitre, who hails from Russel, Ontario, was born with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), which is a rare condition that means his skin is constantly in intense pain. Pitre is restricted to using a wheelchair, and his skin is blistered, while it’s also painful for him to move, bathe, and eat. In fact, whenever he leaves the house he has to be wrapped entirely in bandages.
There is currently no cure for Epidermolysis Bullosa, and because of this he is unable to partake in any physical activity, which means he can’t play the sport that he loves: hockey.
— Ross Rheaume (@Ross_Rheaume) April 15, 2015
Pitre hasn’t let this hold him back though, and he has so far raised over $100,000 for DEBRA Canada, an EB charity. Pitre has made it his life’s mission to help others with the condition, and in the process he has also found his voice and calling.
“I said to myself, ‘I’m going to make this my goal: I’m going to use my voice to try to raise awareness so that maybe one day we can get a cure,'” Pitre declared.
Earlier this month Jonatahn Pitre proved just how inspirational he is when he spoke in front of 16,000 students at National We Day, which was held at the Canadian Tire Centre.
According to the Ottawa Citizen, Pitre explained to the crowd that even though he is now unable to proceed with his dream of being “the next Sidney Crosby,” the current captain for the Pittsburgh Penguins, he has now set new ambitions, and he still wants to work in the sporting field.
“I may not have the physical ability to become a professional athlete, but I’ve got a voice – and it’s powerful. With my voice, I can be a scout, a coach, a sportscaster. My options are limitless,” Pitre declared.
In fact, Pitre challenged the audience in front of him to push themselves to their limit.
“Great things do not come easily. But they do come when you try with your full heart, when you’re willing and open to embrace life, when you take things one day at a time and use what you’ve got.”
Tin Boileau, Pitre’s mother, was unequivocal with her praise for her son, as she insisted, “He has the most beautiful soul,” before explaining, “He just keeps waking up every morning with a smile on his face. So how can I not wake up with a smile?”
You can keep up with Jonathan Pitre’s activities courtesy of his Twitter account.
[Image via Ottawa Citizen]